First Article Inspection, is also known as FAI. It is a type of quality control performed by a quality inspector, at the factory, at production start. It is widely used for industrial components, new products and custom designs produced in China. FAI involves a specific set of quality control skills such as:

    • • Understand technical drawings & blueprints
    • • Operate and record precision measurements
    • • Familiar with tests

    First Article inspection is thus very useful to compare actual measurements against drawings. It allows both Chinese Supplier and Foreign Buyer to detect discrepancies at an early stage of production. All FAI results are gathered in an Inspection Report including pictures and annotated drawings.

WHAT IS First Article Inspection?

A First Article inspection is a quality control service that includes the following product checks :

Dimensions & weight
Component assembly
Structural integrity
Surface finish

First Article inspection is thus very useful to compare actual measurements against drawings. It allows both Chinese Supplier and Foreign Buyer to detect discrepancies at an early stage of production. All FAI results are gathered in an Inspection Report including pictures and annotated drawings.

first article inspection, First Article Inspection

WHEN does a FAI check in China happen?

First Article inspections are usually complement at the very beginning of production. Being able to detect non-conformities and defects at an early stage is key to saving time and money. Our inspectors are usually scheduled before production reaches 10%.

WHY do Buyers and Sellers need to conduct FAI checks?

FAI is a very specific quality control, or inspection service. Most of the time, foreign buyers and Chinese supplier alike need to assess:

  • – Dimensions, holes, and specific measurements need to match the drawings;
  • – Evaluating the first batch of a high-volume production;
  • – Assessing that change in the production process of a high-volume good does not affect poorly end result;

Even though many businesses may prefer Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI), there are a few shortcomings.
For example, PSI only detects non-conformities when production is already at 80% completion rate. While FAI helps point out issues in dimensions, structural and surface properties early on.

How much does a First Article Inspection cost?

Booking a FAI quality check with us starts at USD 249 (All included).
For more information on First Article inspection pricing, please contact us here

What is the difference between a Pre-Production and First Article inspection?

The main difference between these two quality checks is the time they are implemented.
The second main difference is their scope. A Pre-Production check will focus on preparations, while First Article focuses on the product compliance.

 

Pre-Production Inspection First Article Inspection
Time of inspection Production has not started Production <10%
Scope of Inspection Material, Equipment & Processes Product
Price of Inspection Starting at 299 USD Starting at 249 USD